What is Myopia or Nearsightedness?
Myopia is a common eye condition which causes distant objects to be blurry and out of focus, while close objects can be viewed more clearly.
Myopia is related to how your child’s eyes are growing. The diagrams below demonstrate what myopia looks like.
Typical Eye – In a normally shaped eye, light focuses directly on the retina at the back of the eye. This makes vision sharp and clear.
Myopic Eye – When your child has myopia, their eyes are growing too long, and light focuses in front of the retina. This blurs their vision, so they need spectacles or contact lenses to see clearly.
What Causes Myopia?
There are two main factors which can mean your child is more at risk of developing myopia:
The risk of myopia in children increases when parents are myopic. The risk is nearly:
When both parents are myopic
When one parent is myopic
When neither parent is myopic
Modern lifestyles may influence the development of myopia:
Low levels of outdoor activity
Prolonged near tasks such as reading and gaming on portable devices
Poor lighting levels
The challenge with myopia is that as the eye continues to grow, the retinal tissue has to stretch. Worsening myopia can lead to eye health and vision issues later in life.
How Fairlawn Eye Care Can Help
Regular eye examinations for young children are important to identify and treat myopia early. This may help to reduce the final prescription and the potential risk for future eye health issues.
If your child is already nearsighted, you may have already experienced the need to change the prescription regularly leading to stronger glasses. Updating the glasses prescription helps with vision but does nothing to slow the speed at which the prescription changes as the eyeball continues to grow.
MiSight® 1 day contact lenses have been specifically designed to help slow down the speed at which nearsightedness develops. They look and feel like ordinary one day soft contact lenses, but they have a very different optical design called ActivControl Technology. Clinical studies with MiSight® 1 day show that the speed of nearsightedness progression is slowed down by more than half compared to ordinary vision correction (Up to 59%). This means they may be less reliant on glasses, but most importantly, the risk of future eye health problems is reduced.
If contact lenses are not a suitable option, clinical treatment with atropine eye drops can be administered. The eye drops are taken once a day before bed to control the rate of myopia progression by up to 46%. A small proportion of patients experience ocular side effects with atropine resulting in blurred near vision and light sensitivity. The doctor will determine the suitable concentration of eye drops to minimize ocular side effects.
Book an appointment with Fairlawn Eye Care to schedule an eye examination and/or assess treatment options for your child today.